December 8, 2021 8:02:18 am
A day after the Supreme Court put on hold elections to seats reserved for Other Backward Classes (OBC) in the upcoming local body polls in Maharashtra, the State Election Commission on Tuesday deferred the local body polls for OBC category.
A press note issued by State Election Commissioner U P S Madan stated, “As per the Supreme Court directives, decision has been taken to defer the local body polls for OBC category. But the elections for non-OBC category including Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe and General category will take place as notified earlier.”
The elections for 106 nagar panchayats, Bhandara and Gondia Zilla Parishad including panchayat samitis within its ambit will take place on December 21. Along with this, polling for four vacant mahanagarpalika seats and 4,554 gram panchayats’ 7,130 vacant seats will be held on December 21.
The local bodies and seats where elections have been deferred are: 23 seats in Bhandara and Gondia Zilla Parishad (total seats 105); 15 seats in Bhandara and 45 seats in Gondia panchayat samitis (total seats 210); 344 seats in 106 nagar panchayat (total seats 1802); and bypolls to one municipal council (total seats four).
Polling on all the OBC seats across local bodies has been deferred till further orders and directives from the Supreme Court, the SEC said.
On Monday, the Supreme Court bench headed by Justice A M Khanwilkar said that “the State Election Commission shall desist from proceeding with the Election Programme already notified in respect of reserved seats for ‘OBC category only’, in the concerned local bodies. The Election Programme in respect of all the local bodies across the State in respect of reserved seats for category Other Backward Class, shall remain stayed until further orders.”
The Supreme Court stay evoked sharp reactions across parties. The ruling Congress, NCP and Shiv Sena and Opposition BJP were unanimous in voicing concerns over denying political reservation to OBCs.
State BJP president Chandrakant Patil said, “We request the state government to put on hold local body polls until OBC reservation is restored.”
Congress president Nana Patole told Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray that conducting polls without OBC reservation was not correct.
NCP MP Supriya Sule demanded that the Centre bring legislation to ensure political reservation for OBCs and address the issue of quotas for the Maratha and Dhangar communities in Maharashtra.
“Hon. Supreme Court has put a stay on OBC political reservation. Given that the winter session of Parliament is going on, we demand that the Union government bring legislation, which must be debated during this session in order to ensure the pending political reservation for OBCs along with reservation for Maratha and Dhangar communities is addressed. This decision would impact a large section of the society pan-India,” Sule said.
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